Expanding the HSLS E-Book Collection

HSLS recently purchased a collection of nearly 60 new e-books in a variety of health sciences disciplines and specialties. The new e-books are available on the Ovid platform and include:

  • 5-Minute Clinical Consult Standard 2015
  • Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials, 5th edition
  • Clinical Practice of Neurological and Neurosurgical Nursing, 7th edition
  • Lippincott’s Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Plans, 9th edition
  • Mastery of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 3rd edition

This is part of our ongoing effort to expand our e-book collection. Continue reading

Shakespeare’s Humors Explored at HSLS


Shakespeare adopted his ideas about humorism, or humoralism, from the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and physicians, Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen. It was thought that the body consisted of four humors or fluids: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm, and that the equilibrium of the body and mind was determined by a balance in these substances. When humors were in balance, a person was healthy, but an imbalance in one of these fluids not only negatively affected the person’s physical health, but also their personality and psychological wellbeing.

Credit: “The Four Elements, Four Qualities, Four Humours, Four Seasons, and Four Ages of Man,” Airbrush by Lois Hague, 1991, Wellcome Library, London, (CC By 4.0)

Shakespeare, based on the humors theory, presented his Elizabethan audiences with plays depicting the full range of human behaviors and character types, such as the vengeful Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, the melancholy Ophelia in Hamlet, and the unruly Katharine in Taming of the Shrew.

Although modern medicine no longer recognizes the theory of the four humors, the concept of balance and mind-body connection, key features in the humoralist theory, are well accepted in modern medicine. The contemporary view of a healthy lifestyle emphasizes the historically influential concept of balance in human life.

Several books on the topic are held at Pitt libraries and specifically in the HSLS History of Medicine and Rare Books collections.

HSLS Hosts Four Humors Exhibit

Now through November 8, HSLS is hosting the traveling exhibit, “And There’s the Humor of It”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and coordinated by the American Library Association. The exhibit uses materials from the historical collections of NLM to explore the prevailing belief of the four bodily humors.

OPENING PRESENTATION: October 2, 6-7 p.m., 1105 Scaife Hall

“William Shakespeare and the Four Humors: Elizabethan Medical Beliefs”
Gail Kern Paster, PhD, director emerita, Folger Shakespeare Library

*Visit the exhibit in Falk Library following the lecture, 200 Scaife Hall

OCTOBER PRESENTATION: October 21, 6-7 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 5

“A Clinician Looks at Shakespeare and Medicine”
Robin Maier, MD, MA, director of medical student education/clerkship director, Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

~ Ester Saghafi


“About the Elizabethan Era and the Four Humors,” Nuvvo, accessed September 12, 2014, http://shakespeare.nuvvo.com/lesson/4423-about-the-elizabethan-era-and-the-four-humors

Draper J. “The Humors: Some Psychological Aspects of Shakespeare’s Tragedies,” Draper JW. JAMA 188, (April 20, 1964):259-62.

“Humoralism,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, accessed September 11, 2014, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/humoralism-1.

“Humorism,” Wikipedia, accessed September 12, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism.

“The world of Shakespeare’s humors,” National Library of Medicine, accessed September 12, 2014, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/shakespeare/fourhumors.html.

Wish You Were Here! Postcard Images of Nurses

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched a fascinating online display, Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection. Based on an exhibition currently open to the public in NLM’s History of Medicine Reading Room, the online version is a digital gallery of over 500 postcards collected by Michael Zwerdling, RN. The postcards, produced between 1893 and 2011, depict nurses and the nursing profession through photographs, cartoons, reproductions of posters, advertisements, and other materials. As noted in an Introduction to the online collection, “These images of nurses and nursing are informed by cultural values, ideas about women, men, and work; and by attitudes toward class, race and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during these times.”

The digital postcards explore five themes. “Picturing a Woman’s Mission: Service to Humanity” displays images of nurses as classical and Christian archetypes, including healer, angel, or warrior. “Picturing Nursing as a Career” reflects the rise of nursing as a profession, allowing women a new path to economic independence, opportunities for travel, and meaningful community work. “Picturing the Gender of Nursing” contains postcards promoting the popular stereotype of men as physicians and women as nurses or hand maidens, as well as postcards that challenge this stereotype with group photos of male nurses dating back to as early as 1908. “Nursing and Respectability” examines the influence of race and class on social definitions of the “ideal” nurse, and includes rare postcard images of African-American nurses. Finally, “The Art of Nursing” reflects popular culture depictions of nurses, ranging from sentimental images to the nurse as a sex symbol. This section also contains images used by the nursing profession to counteract such gendered and sexist imagery.

In addition to the digital images, the online exhibit, Picture of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection, contains educational materials, including lesson plans for grades 9-10, learning modules for undergraduate students, and a list of additional resources and readings.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from The Zwerdling Postcard Collection: Pictures of Nursing Web site.

~Mary Lou Klem

Save the Dates for Bioinformatics Training Sessions

The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) is pleased to announce two sets of hands-on bioinformatics sessions this fall: CLC Genomics Workbench on October 7 and 8, and UCSC Genome Browser on December 4 and 5.                                    

clcbio CLC bio offers user friendly, cross platform software that assists researchers with a variety of data analysis needs, including CLC Genomics Workbench which is used for analyzing and visualizing next generation sequencing (NGS) data. Continue reading

Using EZproxy for Off-Campus Access Instead of Secure Remote Access

EZproxy is a seamless way to access library resources when you are off campus. Users no longer need to log into Secure Remote Access before linking to library resources.

Click on any e-resource link from the HSLS Web site. A pop-up box will appear (see the image below). Enter your Pitt Computer Account username and password and you’ll be taken directly to the resource. You do not need to log in again for the rest of your session as long as you stay within the same browser.

EZproxy Login Box
EZproxy Login Box

In order for EZproxy to work correctly, you must set your browser to allow cookies.

~Nancy Tannery

“Undead PubMed” returns…

Beware of the undead!
Beware of the undead!

During this Halloween season—when the undead walk—your greatest weapon just might be current biomedical information. So, in the spirit of the season, HSLS is offering a ghoulish twist on our basic, weekly, Painless PubMed search class. In one horror-filled hour, Undead PubMed will use creepy examples to introduce or update you on: accessing PubMed from a safe location, building an effective search strategy, retrieving full-text articles if the library has been overrun by zombies, using a MyNCBI account to save your searches, and (maybe) save the world.

Please join us—if you dare—for Undead PubMed (costumes are optional):

October 6, 2014 – noon to 1:00 p.m.

October 14, 2014 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

October 22, 2014 – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

October 31, 2014 – 11 a.m. to noon

All of these classes are held in Falk Library, Classroom 1.

~Nancy Tannery

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: The Work That Laid the Foundation for Modern Anatomical Pathology

MorgagniGiovanni Battista Morgagni (1682-1771) was an Italian anatomist and professor of practical medicine at University of Padua. His reputation as an accurate anatomist was established early. He published his first book on anatomy when he was only 19 years old. His seminal work, De sedibus et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis (Seats and Causes of Disease Investigated by Means of Anatomy), was published in Venice in 1761, when he was almost 80 years old. The work included his lifelong experience and discoveries, and earned him the title “father of anatomical pathology.”

The publication of De sedibus ended the theory of humors developed by Hippocrates and Galen, which in Morgagni’s time identified the causes of disease as the disequilibrium between the four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow, and black bile). It was the author who introduced the concept that diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease must be based on an exact understanding of the pathologic changes in the anatomic structures. Morgagni was the first to link the postmortem discoveries with the clinical findings. His work is a systematic collection of pathological cases. It includes those reported in existing literature and those gathered and described from the autopsies he witnessed or performed. All are presented as a logical correlation between the symptoms and anatomical findings.

Falk Library has the second edition of this monumental work (Padua 1765), as well as the first English translation published in London in 1769. The Latin edition was acquired for the collection in 1970. It is a beautifully preserved folio pictured above. The book has fine woodcut head and tailpieces in each volume and includes an engraved portrait of Morgagni by Jean Renard. It can be viewed in the Rare Book Room by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.


Julia Dahm, technology services librarian, was elected as a representative to the University of Pittsburgh’s Faculty Assembly for a three-year term. Dahm was also interviewed about 3D printing for the University Times article, “3-D Printing Gets More Attention on Pitt Campus,” August 28, 2014.

Josh Paltrineri has joined the Falk Library staff as a Main Desk Assistant. He holds a BS degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Hannah Sinemus has joined HSLS as a library specialist at the Technology Help Desk. Sinemus previously worked at the University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Library.


Carrie Iwema, Molecular Biology information specialist, along with co-authors Eris H. Holbrook1, Carolyn E. Peluso2, and James E. Schwob3, published “The Regeneration of P2 Olfactory Sensory Neurons is Selectively Impaired Following Methyl Bromide Lesion” in Chemical Senses, 39(7):601-16, July 23, 2014.

  1. Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts;
  2. Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston Massachusetts;
  3. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Program in Neuroscience, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York.

Charlie Wessel, head of reference and research initiatives, along with Jennifer Corbelli1,Nader Shaikh2, and Rachel Hess3, published “Low-Dose Transdermal Estradiol for Vasomotor Symptoms: A Systematic Review” in Menopause, 22(1), June 23, 2014.

  1. Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
  2. Division of General Academic Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
  3. Center for Research on Health Care, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, served on the panel “Conversation with Federal Government Agencies,” and presented “Health Information Resources for African Diaspora, Immigrant and Refugee Populations,” at the 2nd U.S. Conference on African Immigrant Health (USCAIH 2014) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 20, 2014.

Classes October 2014

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, bibliographic management, molecular biology and genetics, and library orientations. For more information, visit the online course descriptions.

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in Classroom 1 and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff, and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, who will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail account. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs.

No registration is required, except where noted. Classes marked with an asterisk (*) qualify for American Medical Association Category 2 continuing education credit.

Class schedules are subject to change. Please consult the online class calendar for the most current information.


FlashClass is a “deal of the week” Groupon-like offer of timely and useful learning. Each week’s offer proposes one or two topics, and you’re invited to sign up to attend a one-hour class the following week. If at least three people sign up, we’ll hold the class. (We’ll notify you either way.)


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, October 14 1-3 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday October 28 1-3 p.m.

Undead PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Monday, October 6 Noon-1 p.m.
Tuesday, October 14 1-2 p.m.
Wednesday, October 22 9-10 a.m.
Friday, October 31 11 a.m.-noon


Gene Regulation Resources* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, October 8 1-4 p.m.

Cancer Informatics* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, October 15 1-4 p.m.

Microarray Data Analysis* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, October 22 1-4 p.m.


Customized classes can be developed for your department, course, or other group.